15 October 2012

"Unschooling" the University

Never Let Schooling Interfere With Your Education

Unschooling is a growing trend among children old enough to attend primary or secondary school. It is a type of homeschooling that is child-directed, taking place both at home and other places where children can learn about the world.
The advantage of this method is that it doesn't require you, the parent, to become someone else, i.e. a professional teacher pouring knowledge into child-vessels on a planned basis. Instead you live and learn together, pursuing questions and interests as they arise and using conventional schooling on an on-demand basis, if at all. This is the way we learn before going to school and the way we learn when we leave school and enter the world of work. _Unschooling: Holt

In the US, with university student dept around $1 trillion, more people want to bring "unschooling" to the university level -- and make it very low cost, sometimes free.
[US] student debt now tops $1 trillion and that a third of college students drop out–with debt and without a degree. Nearly a third of the average 18-to-24-year-old’s income goes toward debt repayment, much of it owing to student loans.

...Yet if [Vivek] Wadhwa is right the student debt problem will take care of itself—at least as it relates to the next generation and those that follow. Online courses will proliferate to such a degree that acquiring knowledge will become totally free. There will still be a cost associated with getting a formal degree. But most universities, he says, “will be in the accreditation business.” They will monitor and sanction coursework; teachers will become mentors and guides, not deliver lectures and administer tests. This model has the potential to dramatically cut the cost of an education and virtually eliminate the need to borrow for one, he says.

...Wadhwa allows that there will always be students able and willing to pay for a traditional college experience and for them it will be a worthwhile investment. But for the vast majority, from a financial standpoint that kind of education makes no sense and is fast becoming unnecessary. He believes the higher education revolution is coming soon and will happen fast—perhaps fast enough to keep the next generation from finishing school with debts they may never be able to pay. _Moneyland.Time

University has become a place for young adults and adolescents to receive a political indoctrination, form bad personal habits, and avoid responsibility while spending "other people's money" for as long into adulthood as possible.

In other words, for a large number of young people, university has become the capstone on an edifice of dysfunctional education and child-raising that leaves the young person incompetent and unfit for taking meaningful responsibility in world growing less friendly to the unskilled by the day.

The problem with "unschooling the university" is that most graduates of primary and secondary public education never learned to be self-directed toward their own education. They and their parents trustingly counted on the government educational system to provide the child's education. And now, here they are, unable to pick up the ball and run with it.

We anticipate that in the future, more and more parents will opt for "The Dangerous Child" approach to child rearing, which is a type of "unschooling" -- although much more dangerous, of course.

The dangerous child learns multiple skills and competencies from an age at which most parents and educators would believe it impossible. But it is not only possible -- it is vital, if the child is to develop his full potential of dangerousness. Dangerous children must achieve high enough skill levels to be able to support themselves financially in at least three different ways by the time they are 18 years old.

Needless to say, the future would look quite different in a world full of dangerous children -- quite unlike the present world full of lifelong adolescents and incompetent psychological neotenates.

And remember, it is never too late to have a dangerous childhood.

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